No Handphones Policy


8 December 2007

PUTRAJAYA: Companies with heavy vehicles should sack their drivers who use handphones while driving, said Road Safety Department Director-General Datuk Suret Singh.


He said two such companies, Malaysian Oxygen Berhad and Lafarge Malayan Cement Berhad, had already adopted this ruling.


For companies to enforce this "no handphones while driving" policy, he said they must immediately act against employees when they received complaints by road users of their drivers talking on the phone while driving.


The complainant could lodge a complaint by calling the number which is written clearly on the back of the heavy vehicle.


"This is how companies that adopted this policy tracked down their drivers who disregarded the ruling," he said. Another way to detect negative driving habits of heavy vehicle drivers would be when they were forced to submit a full report on the most minor of accidents they encountered.


Although not barred by the law, Suret said the department did not encourage the use of hands-free kits as they were equally distracting to drivers.


Malaysia Institute of Road Safety Research director-general Prof Dr Radin Umar Radin Sohadi welcomed the proposal, saying it was already practiced in Europe.

He said it had proven to have contributed to the 90 per cent reduction in fatal accidents involving third parties -- those hit by heavy vehicles.